45,000 People Sign Up to Run Alone in Virtual London Marathon

The question must be asked. If it’s a virtual marathon and you run alone, how is it different from simply walking out your front door and logging 26.2 miles?

Socially distant camaraderie? Maybe that’s why more than 45,000 people signed up for the virtual London Marathon in October. The original race, scheduled for April, was postponed, and then simply canceled due to the pandemic.

It’s not canceled for everyone, just the many thousands of hangers-on who like to beat up their bodies for years and then trod along. The elite marathoners of the world will still compete on a multi-lap closed course in central London on October 4.

Everyone else was allowed to register and, for 20 pounds, get a race number, a t-shirt, and a finisher’s medal as long as they complete a 26.2 mile course of their choosing in 24 hours or less.

The organizers opened 20,000 slots and, once they were sold, opened another 20,000 slots, making it the largest virtual marathon ever held.

Given that there’s no way to verify who actually ran their course and who didn’t, it sure looks like thousands of people just paid 20 pounds to get a medal showing they finished the London Marathon, even if they did it on their bicycle or a scooter.

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